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Toronto Operetta Theatre Presents Holiday Production, THE LAND OF SMILES, 12/27

THE LAND OF SMILES, Franz Lehar's great masterwork from the 1920's, is Toronto Operetta Theatre's Holiday Production for the 2013/2014 Season with performances at the St. Lawrence Centre on Dec. 27, 28, 29 (mat) & 31, 2013 and Jan 2, 3, 4, 5, 2014, including a Gala New Year's Eve performance, dinner and dance.Eduard Künneke's THE COUSIN FROM NOWHERE premieres in Canada, on May, 1, 2014 with performances onMay 2, 3, 4, (mat) also at the St. Lawrence Centre.

"We've very pleased to announce our plans for this season," said TOT's General Director Guillermo Silva-Marin, "especially as both works are unique to the operetta genre in terms of subject matter and concept. THE LAND OF SMILES (Das Land des Lächelns) is a daring look at love and duty across cultural boundaries between China and Austria and Künneke's delightful fable is conceived as a chamber operetta set in Holland. The icing on our cake is the special grant we have received from the Canada Council to present THE COUSIN FROM NOWHERE for the first time in Canada."

Dedicated to supporting Canada's wealth of vocal talent, TOT has assembled stellar casts featuring artists both established and emerging. Lara Ciekiewicz - TOT's fiery Maritza two seasons ago - will be heard as Countess Lisa, a Viennese beauty in love with Prince Sou Chong, sung by Ernesto Ramirez, who captured hearts in Luisa Fernanda. Debuting sopranos Vania Chan and Cindy Zhang share the role of Mi, a young lady of the Chinese court who falls for the charms ofGustl, played by Adam Fisher, last season's breakout star of La Vie Parisienne. Canadian Opera Company conductorDerek Bate leads the orchestra and Silva-Marin is the stage director and designer.

The idealism of young love drives the melodic invention of Künneke's late thirties operetta and his chamber-like - almost Broadway pit band orchestration - makes it unique. Tenor Christopher Mayell, last season's outrageous Brazilian in La Vie Parisienne, is mistaken as the long lost 'cousin', and causes hearts to flutter. Also starring are Elizabeth Beeler, David Ludwig and Stefan Fehr. Debuting conductor Jurgen Petrenko leads our chamber orchestra and Silva-Marin directs.

An aperitif to the 2013/2014 season will be THE SAUCY SENORITA, inspired by La Revoltosa, a zarzuela by Ruperto Chapi. The single performance on Sunday, November 3, 2013 at the STLC promises the fiery passions of Spain and the emerging talents of Beth Hagerman, Diego Catalá, Marco Petracchi and Fabian Arciniegas.

The Artists' Reception following THE SAUCY SENORITA performance in the Lobby of the Bluma Appel Theatre with wine, gourmet Iberian treats at the buffet and conversation with our TOT stars will be our special event to launch the full season, in the presence of the Consul General of Spain, Don Francisco Pascual de la Parte.

In addition to support from the Canada Council for the Arts, Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, theJackman Foundation, Bedolfe Foundation, the H & R Mida Charitable Foundation, The Dalglish Family Foundation, the company counts among its partners KPMG, Barrick, RBC Dominion, HotHouse Café, Victoria Hotel, Huziak Graphic Designs and media sponsors Deutsche Presse, Epoch Times,MZ Media and NTD Television.

The St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts is wheelchair accessible and close to public transit and municipal parking. Call the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts at 416-366-7723, 1-800-708-7654 or on line at

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